The current coronavirus epidemic is significantly increasing the demand for Microsoft’s cloud services. This rise in demand has resulted in record usage of
Microsoft Teams, Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Live, and Mixer, as well as a more than threefold increase in Windows Virtual Desktop usage.
The software behemoth initially claimed over the weekend that “our cloud services have increased by 775 percent in locations that have implemented social
distancing or shelter in place measures,” but it soon realized that its claim was false and was forced to retract it late on Monday. In Italy, where social
distancing or shelter in place directives have been implemented, Teams calling and meeting monthly users have increased by 775 percent in a month,
according to a Microsoft spokeswoman.
In any case, Microsoft has begun adjusting its services in response to the rising demand for cloud computing. We’re making minor improvements to
streamline moderating and guarantee the best experience for our community, according to a note from Xbox support. The option to upload personal
gamerpics, club photos, and club backdrops has been temporarily disabled. Microsoft is attempting to lessen the workload on its moderation team when
reviewing new uploads amid an uptick in Xbox Live activity, but existing custom Xbox gamerpics will still function perfectly.
Microsoft Is Also Making Some Changes To Teams
In order to “provide higher-bandwidth activities like game updates during off-peak hours,” Microsoft claims it is collaborating with Xbox game publishers.
Similar steps have been taken by Sony, which has slowed down PlayStation game downloads to assist maintain general internet rates.
Microsoft announced last week that it will maintain Microsoft Teams and give first responders and emergency services priority access to the cloud. Earlier this
month, Teams usage increased by 12 million in a single week, and as a result, Microsoft Teams initially experienced some interruptions.
In order to increase Teams’ overall capacity and dependability, Microsoft has recently temporarily modified a few of its features. We temporarily changed a
few non-essential features, such as how frequently we check for user presence, how often we indicate when the other party is typing, and video resolution.
The demand for cloud services has increased by 775 percent in areas where social segregation or shelter-in-place orders have been implemented, Microsoft’s
original blog post noted. Microsoft later clarified that the growth of 775 percent was specific to Italy and only included Microsoft Teams calling, not all cloud demand.
Microsoft said it is expediting the addition of “significant new capacity” that’ll be available in the coming weeks and is taking some proactive measures to
reduce capacity strain. For example, with Teams, they’ve adjusted video resolution and how often they show when the other party is typing.
On the Xbox front, Microsoft said it is working with publishing partners to deliver higher-bandwidth activities like game updates during off-peak hours.
They’ve also temporarily disabled the ability to upload custom gamerpics, club pics, and club backgrounds to help streamline moderation and ensure the best
experience for the community.
Despite usage increases, Microsoft said they have not experienced any significant service disruptions.